I've moved over to Development Chaos Theory, where I'll mostly be talking about development stuff. C'ya there!
Recently the port side of the blogosphere have taken on a new tactic: outing.
Senator Larry Craig.... What's with the gay bashing?
And... the pitch... Another case coming soon
Sen. Larry Craig (R) of Idaho Outed by Mike Rogers on Ed Schultz
Okay, here's my fundamental problem with this. While I understand that many on the left believe that, for example, opposing same-sex marriage is tantamount to gay bashing, this whole process of outing relies upon homophobia to cost a candidate votes.
You see, it is possible for someone who is gay to oppose same-sex marriage. Simply put gay rights advocates missed a bet several years ago when President Bush went on record as supporting "civil unions" which granted all the rights of marriage except the word. When the opposing team is willing to put the football on the one-yard line, you don't say "fuck off; give me a touchdown or die!!!" You say "thank you very much", take your (massive) win, and wait a decade, when the public has become used to gay
marriages civil unions, take out the erasers and correction tape, and replace "civil unions" with "marriage."
See, there are two underlying assumptions of the gay rights crowd which are being violated by all this screaming "in your face" bullshit. First, the public has a streak of homophobia. And second, people fear what they are not used to. As soon as you permit civil unions, the public gets used to it, and rather than creating a civil war because
you hate conservative republicans and are using gay people as an excuse to create a political fight you want it all now for some inexplicable reason, you've gotten gay marriage without a fight--or even a raised voice.
In a way, one could argue that it is in the best interests of homosexuals to support civil unions and fly "marriage" under the radar. After all, both "in your face" bullshit and "flying under the radar" both nominally are attempting to achieve the same goal--but honestly: which will get you there faster?
But outing Republicans: now that's a problem.
It's a problem because it relies upon homophobia in order to cost Republicans votes. It relies upon re-emphasizing all the negative stereotypes--feeding homophobia and growing homophobia for political gain. It also relies upon assuming all politics is black and white and uncompromising--and it demands that "faggots" know their place. (What? You're a Republican Faggot?!? How dare you step out of your pre-assigned roles!)
This sort of gay (Republican) bashing is not going to advance homosexual rights. It's only going to reinforce the most base instincts of a homophobic crowd--and using (and feeding) homophobia (such as talking up Fowley's homosexuality, which only reinforces the notion that homosexual men are all pedophiles, rather than labeling Fowley as the creep he is) will set back gay rights by a decade.
I'm mindful of the fact that most of my personal liberal friends believe that this sort of gay bashing is a sort of "payback" for what they perceive as gay bashing.
But justify it all you will--it is what it is. Gay bashing.
Short story: In 2004, the United Nations passes Resolution 1559 which requires, amongst other things, that Lebanon disarms Hezballah. Lebanon fails. Hezballah starts shoting Iranian rockets at Israel. Israel invades Lebanon.
The United Nations passes Resolution 1701, which amongst other things requires Lebanon to implement Resolution 1559.
And so we arrive at the sorry state of affairs where:
(1) Europe fails to pledge the troops required under Resolution 1701.
(2) Lebanon will not disarm Hezballah
(3) When the other two actors (Europe and Lebanon) refused to uphold their bargain, which would result in a safer and more secure Israel, Israel then tells the world to go pound sand, the United Nations accuses Israel of violating Resolution 1701.
My understanding of such things is that they're like a contract: two parties agree to give something up in exchange for something from the other party. But this doesn't seem to be the case with 1701, where any violation of the terms on Israel's side is met with condemnation by the same parties who refuse to do one damned thing about their own responsibilities under the same resolution.
I'd like to sell Secretary General Kofi Annan a used car.
You see, I don't actually have a used car that is for sale. No matter; the United Nations doesn't have an effective and cohesive ideology, fighting force, or even can be impartial--I don't have a car. Integrity smintegrity. Who cares? But I'm still willing to sell him a used car for $10,000 under contract--call it U.N. Resolution 1993: The Sale of a Car to Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Who cares if I don't actually have a car and have no intention of delivering it: I want my God Damned Money from Kofi Annan! Kofi Annan is violating my rights!
And let's be honest: we haven't even passed the Resolution--it doesn't matter; now that the resolution has been discussed and His Honerable Secretary General Kofi Annan has clearly reneged on his side of the resolution I'm going to demand he cough up the $10,000--because Damn It, HE'S IN VIOLATION OF WORLD LAW AND UNITED NATIONS RULE!
From The Brussels Journal: The Failure of Western Universities:
The Saudis and other oil-rich Arabs are busy buying influence over what Westerners hear about Islam. Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, a member of the Saudi Royal Family, is an international investor currently ranked among the ten richest persons in the world. He is known in the USA for a $10 million check he offered to New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani in October 2001 for the Twin Towers Fund. Mayor Giuliani returned the gift when he learned that the prince had called for the United States to “re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause.”Read the whole thing: I don't think the article can be summarized easily.
Prince Talal is also creating a TV channel, Al-Resalah, to target American Muslims. He already broadcasts in Saudi Arabia. In 2005, Bin Talal bought 5.46% of voting shares in News Corp, the parent of Fox News. In December 2005 he boasted to Middle East Online about his ability to change what viewers see on Fox News. Covering the riots in France that fall, Fox ran a banner saying: “Muslim riots.” Bin Talal was not happy. “I picked up the phone and called Murdoch [...] [and told him] these are not Muslim riots, these are riots out of poverty,” he said. “Within 30 minutes, the title was changed from Muslim riots to civil riots.”
A survey conducted by Cornell University found that around half of Americans had a negative view of Islam. Addressing a press conference at the headquarters of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), Paul Findley, a former US Congressman, said that the cancer of anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic sentiments was spreading in American society and required corrective measures to stamp out. It was announced that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) would be launching a massive $50 million media campaign involving television, radio and newspapers. “We are planning to meet Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal for his financial support to our project. He has been generous in the past.”
We are in a new era of information warfare, and our universities, long since corrupted by a leftist meme has become the front-line on promulgating Islamic fundamentalism in a guise which is destructive to the very fabric of Western Culture--a culture which is denied the right to exist by the very intellectuals who live highest off its fruits.
What is particularly damning is that these very same University Professors, living high off the fruits of three thousand years of cultural history, don't even realize what they are destroying: it would be as if people decided that because oxygen is an important component in combustion and burning things hurt or kill people, we should eradicate oxygen from the air we breathe.
What is particularly amazing to me is not that youth would embrase the anti-intellectualism of Marxist philosophy: there is something powerful in the imagery of revolution. What surprises me is that the same anti-intellectualism is still embrased by any college professor who lays claim to impartial and unemotional intellectual analytical skills.
But once your realize that our college professors have essentially self-selected for massive stupidity, then such nonesense as this starts to make sense:
It makes it even worse when we know that other Feminists in academia are asserting that the veil, or even the burka, represent “an alternative Feminism.” Dr. Wairimu Njambi is an Assistant Professor of “Women’s Studies” at the Florida Atlantic University. Much of her scholarship is dedicated to advancing the notion that the cruel practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) is actually a triumph for Feminism and that it is hateful to suggest otherwise. According to Njambi “anti-FGM discourse perpetuates a colonialist assumption by universalizing a particular western image of a ‘normal’ body and sexuality.”In other words, the right for a woman to grow up unmutulated by the men in her society so she has no nerve endings in her genital region is simply a sexist and Orientialist racism--and not actually a universal value.
The fact that feminism is willing to sell itself out on the altar of political correctness--to the point where feminism means advocating white slavery and female genital mutilation--because the notion of being free and having control over your body are culturally relative (and features of a failed decedant Western culture) rather than absolute norms...
We're reaching a tipping point.
The tipping point will arrive when people start looking at the results and saying to themselves "you guys are fucking nuts, and we no longer believe you or in you."
While the term itself has come to represent technological change, the term Tipping Point has sociological origins--albeit racist ones. However, it is quite descriptive: at some point a group of people have had enough--and everything changes en-mass regardless of the best efforts of those who are at the receiving end of the silent majority's anger.
We're getting close.
The latest evidence in reaching the tipping point can be found here: Amnesty International redefines 'war crimes:
The two principal "human rights" organizations are in a race to the bottom to see which group can demonize Israel with the most absurd legal arguments and most blatant factual mis-statements. Until last week, Human Rights Watch enjoyed a prodigious lead, having "found" - contrary to what every newspaper in the world had reported and what everyone saw with their own eyes on television - "no cases in which Hizbullah deliberately used civilians as shields to protect them from retaliatory IDF attack."
Those of us familiar with Amnesty International's nefarious anti-Israel agenda and notoriously "suggestible" investigative methodology wondered how it could possibly match such a breathtaking lie.
But we didn't have to wait long for AI to announce that Israel was guilty of a slew of war crimes for "widespread attacks against public civilian infrastructure, including power plants, bridges, main roads, seaports, and Beirut's international airport."
There are two problems with the Amnesty report and conclusion. First, Amnesty is wrong about the law. Israel committed no war crimes by attacking parts of the civilian infrastructure in Lebanon.
In fact, through restraint, Israel was able to minimize the number of civilian casualties in Lebanon, despite Hizbullah's best efforts to embed itself in population centers and to use civilians as human shields. The total number of innocent Muslim civilians killed by Israeli weapons during a month of ferocious defensive warfare was a fraction of the number of innocent Muslims killed by other Muslims during that same period in Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Algeria, and other areas of Muslim-on-Muslim civil strife. Yet the deaths caused by Muslims received a fraction of the attention devoted to alleged Israeli "crimes."
This lack of concern for Muslims by other Muslims - and the lack of focus by so-called human rights organizations on these deaths - is bigotry, pure and simple.
(h/t: Little Green Footballs) Mutiny as passengers refuse to fly until Asians are removed
Before getting into the meat of this article, let me note its title. By using the word "Asians" (which is technically accurate if you place the Middle East in the continent of Asia) rather than the more accurate "Muslim Arabs", the article title makes it sound like the passengers were racist against Chinese or Japanese rather than worried about Muslim Arabs. We on't find out until we get to the 8th paragraph do we get a description of the men, though its hinted at in the second paragraph.
The money quote:
The trouble in Malaga flared last Wednesday as two British citizens in their 20s waited in the departure lounge to board the pre-dawn flight and were heard talking what passengers took to be Arabic. Worries spread after a female passenger said she had heard something that alarmed her.What is fascinating to me is not the fact that the passengers reacted the way they did--they were unwilling to bet their lives after hearing about the bombing attempt last week. Think about it: if you thought there was a one in twenty chance that getting on a plane would mean your certain death--would you get on the plane? Would you play Russian Roulette?
Passengers noticed that, despite the heat, the pair were wearing leather jackets and thick jumpers and were regularly checking their watches.
Initially, six passengers refused to board the flight. On board the aircraft, word reached one family. To the astonishment of cabin crew, they stood up and walked off, followed quickly by others.
The Monarch pilot - a highly experienced captain - accompanied by armed Civil Guard police and airport security staff, approached the two men and took their passports.
Half an hour later, police returned and escorted the two Asian passengers off the jet.
"The plane was not yet full and it became apparent that people were refusing to board. In the gate waiting area, people had been talking about these two, who looked really suspicious with their heavy clothing, scruffy, rough, appearance and long hair.
"Some of the older children, who had seen the terror alert on television, were starting to mutter things like, 'Those two look like they're bombers.'
"Then a family stood up and walked off the aircraft. They were joined by others, about eight in all. We learned later that six or seven people had refused to get on the plane.
"There was no fuss or panic. People just calmly and quietly got off the plane. There were no racist taunts or any remarks directed at the men.
It doesn't really even surprise me that after getting an additional screening by the police and a thorough search of the premises they managed to get off the ground three hours late--with the men on board. People simply want to be safe.
No, what surprises me is twofold: first, this clearly demonstrates that despite being told constantly time and time again by the press that our fears are unfounded, that our instincts are racist and that all Arabic Muslims are peaceful people from the Religion Of Peace--people clearly do not trust what they are being told, and they clearly understand the threat that they face. Even at the risk of being called racist in the title of a newspaper article.
We're constantly fed a regular diet of pundits who tell us that our fears are unfounded, that we are at the cause of 9/11, that we must apologize for our sins, and that Muslims in our midst represent absolutely no threat. And people are unwilling to risk their lives on this diet of multicultural pap.
The second thing that this tells me is that people do not trust the government's screening process.
By being constantly reassured by the government that there is no problem, by being constantly told that we need to stop fighting the Muslims in "Asia" because it's expending too much time and effort and is only pissing people off, by being constantly told that we need to restructure our laws so as to make Muslims more comfortable--really, is it any wonder that people no longer trust their government?
Honestly at this time in our history it would only take a few leaders who are willing to call a spade a spade in public, who was willing to pledge their support in eradicating the risk from overseas--by nukes if necessary--and the entire Anglosphere would drop right behind that leader in what could only be called a Holy Crusade to spread Democracy by basically lining up the leaders and pretenders to the thrones in the Middle East up against the wall and putting a bullet in each of their heads.
And if the Governments of the world won't do it because they're all infected with the meme of multiculturalism, I suspect this little mutany on an aircraft in Malaga will not be the last mutany we see.
I remember last night talking about some meme warfare that took place against the United States by the Soviet Union which currently infects our world view, especially the world view of the Left. It fascinates me because until 9/11, for the most part the two parties in the United States were indistinguishable: I would regularly switch party affiliations at whim depending on which party's primaries I wanted to vote in. (I think I was a registered Democrat when I first met my wife, for example.)
When 9/11 happened, the differences came into sharp relief--and the ideological minefield planted by the Soviets in the 1930's started exploding in the oddest places in our public discourse. Feminists started defending burkas and female genital mutilation by the Taliban. Peace activists started swinging clubs and bashing their ideological opponents--effectively going to war against those they disagreed with--at peace rallies. Liberal supporters of freedom showing their support of murderous dictators with a track record of genocide.
To my mind the otherwise slightly kooky but groovy liberalism of the 1990's suddenly shivered, and an alien popped out of its stomache spitting acid that dissolved the bulkheads.
What the fuck? I mean, really: what the fuck?
In part it goes back to a flamboyant German Communist by the name of Willi Munzenberg, whose understanding of western values and western media made him the perfect leader of propaganda operations in the West. Willi Munzenberg managed to plant a variety of memes in the west--ideas that have so permeated our thinking that that to even question them sounds like questioning Mom's Apple Pie. Memes which are now destroying Western Values:
Consider the following propositions:
These ideas travel under many labels: postmodernism, nihilism, multiculturalism, Third-World-ism, pacifism, “political correctness” to name just a few. It is time to recognize them for what they are, and call them by their right name: suicidalism.
- There is no truth, only competing agendas.
- All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.
- There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
- The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.
- Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.
- The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)
- For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But “oppressed” people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
- When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.
Trace any of these back far enough (e.g. to the period between 1930 and 1950 when Department V was at its most effective) and you’ll find a Stalinist at the bottom. Among the more notorious examples ware: Paul de Man — racist and Nazi propagandist turned Stalinist, and fonder of postmodernism; Jean-Paul Sarte, who described the effects of Stalinism as “humane terror” and helped invent existentialism; and Paul Baran, who developed the thesis that capitalism depended on the immiseration of the Third World after Marx’s immiseration of the proletariat failed to materialize.
These suicidal ideas have had their best foothold into the Left, who have run with these ideas to the point where, for example, feminism has dealt a crushing blow to boys in school as boys are constantly reminded they are now biological second-class citizens. (This warfare even dates to my time, and is the root of some of my own personal sexual problems, as I was constantly reminded during my formative years that all boys are rapists and all acts of sex where the male is even the slightest bit assertive is an act of rape.)
For many on the Left, especially those who claim neo-pagan beliefs that predate modernism and who expouse a complete rejection of Christian values as damaging to the human spirit, it's fascinating that many of the memes they expouse in their political liberalism have solidly Christian roots--roots which were mutated by the Stalinists:
Stalinist agitprop created Western suicidalism by successfully building on the Christian idea that self-sacrifice (and even self-loathing) are the primary indicators of virtue. In this way of thinking, when we surrender our well-being to others we store up grace in Heaven that is far more important than the momentary discomfort of submitting to criminals, predatory governments, and terrorists.
The Communist atheists of Department V understood that Christian self-abnegation tends to inculcate a cult of self-sacrifice even among Westerners who are themselves agnostics or atheists. All the propagandists had to do was make the case that the value of self-abnegation applies to culture as well as individuals. By doing so, they were able to entrench the idea that suicidalists are morally superior to non-suicidalists.
They did this so successfully that at least one major form of Western self-abnegation seems to have developed as a secondary phenomenon: “deep environmentalism”. I can’t find any sign that this traces back to the usual Stalinist suspects, but it is rather obviously a result of generalizing suicidalism not just to culture but to species.
I think it’s important to understand that, although suicidalism builds on some pre-existing pathologies of Western culture, it is not a native or natural development. It is an infection that evildoers and their dupes created and then spread as part of a war against the West; their goal was totalitarian control, and part of their method was to talk the West into slitting its own throat.
Well, now we get an interesting revelation that is a few months old, but I only just saw it today: Former Soviet Dissident Warns For EU Dictatorship. From ESR's blog:The Meme War Continues:
Sound like a crazy premise? Wait. It gets better. Vladimir Bukovsky, a leading dissident of the Soviet era whom was invited to testify at the Russian government’s inquiry into whether the Soviet Communist Party had been a criminal institution. got to see more of the KGB’s secret reports to its masters than perhaps anyone else since the old Soviet Union fell. He says:
In 1992 I had unprecedented access to Politburo and Central Committee secret documents which have been classified, and still are even now, for 30 years. These documents show very clearly that the whole idea of turning the European common market into a federal state was agreed between the left-wing parties of Europe and Moscow as a joint project […] the structures of the European Union were initially built with the purpose of fitting into the Soviet structure.That’s right. The European Left cooperated with a Soviet project to make Europe amenable to totalitarian control from Moscow, and not way back in the 1950s, either; the key agreements were made around 1985! Read the whole article; I can’t do justice to Bukovsky’s report in a summary.
I have been accused by some of not appreciating or understanding the history of classical liberalism in the west, or the value of the striving of the human spirit. It's quite the opposite: I have a great appreciation of the human spirit. I believe the first and last principle of human interaction is the human--the individual. I have always believed government should exist to serve three fundamental purposes: to protect us from foreign and domestic threats, to establish normative economic values in order to protect the stability of the economy from both monopolistic threats and from other economic distortions, while protecting the economic commons (the classic Adam Smith definition), and to promote the values of liberty--which in no small part requires both parents and a culture which periodically reminds us that liberty--that we are all kings of our own castles--requires some exercise of responsibility to our fellow man.
It's why I'm quite cynical of a large number of memes--including the DNC talking point that fizzled out as a non-starter a few months ago that "anti-government conservatives" were betraying their roots by being willing to spend more money on the millitary--as if conservatives oppose all federal spending, rather than oppose the overt intrusion of the government into people's lives. (Goldwater Conservatism, which defines today's mainstream GOP, was formulated to oppose the "Great Society" and its implicit threat of government intrusion everywhere in our lives. To say that Conservatives are opposed to military spending is to suggest Conservatives are anarchists--and they most certainly are not.)
And it's why I'm increasingly cynical of the fringe left in the Democratic Party, who seem hell bent upon destroying everything, while smiling as they get their pictures taken with Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein.
9/11 changed everything. But the biggest thing it changed is that it exposed these dangerous memes to the sunlight. And these memes are not liberal or left--they're insane.
(Book recommendation which documents much of this: Double Lives: Stalin, Willi Munzenberg and the Seduction of the Intellectuals)
Too bad the modern liberals don't: The wealth of generations - Capitalism and the belief in the future.
Karl Marx explained that capitalism would make the rich richer and the poor poorer. If someone was to gain, someone else had to lose in the free market. The middle class would become proletarians, and the proletarians would starve. What an unlucky time to make such a prediction. The industrial revolution gave freedom to innovate, produce and trade, and created wealth on an enormous scale. It reached the working class, since technology made them more productive, and more valuable to employers. Their incomes shot through the roof.
What happened was that the proletarians became middle class, and the middle class began to live like the upper class. And the most liberal country, England , led the way. According to the trends of mankind until then, it would take 2 000 years to double the average income. In the mid-19th century, the British did it in 30 years. When Marx died in 1883, the average Englishman was three times richer than he was when Marx was born in 1818.
The poor in Western societies today live longer lives, with better access to goods and technologies, and with bigger opportunities than the kings in Marx’ days.
Ok, said Marx’s evil apprentice Lenin. We might have been wrong about that. But the working class in the West could only become richer because they are bribed by the capitalists. Someone else would have to pay the price for that bribe – the poor countries. Lenin meant that imperialism was the next natural step of capitalism, whereby poor countries had to give up their work and resources to feed the West.
The problem with this argument is that all continents became wealthier, albeit at different speeds. Sure, the average Western European or American is 19 times richer than in 1820, but a Latin American is 9 times richer, an Asian 6 times richer, and an African about 3 times richer. So from whom was the wealth stolen? The only way to save this zero-sum theory would be to find the wreckage of some incredibly advanced spacecraft that we emptied 200 years ago. But not even that would save the theory. Because we would still have to explain from whom the aliens had stolen their resources.